“Labour just gave Hamilton $150 million three weeks before a by-election, but there’s a much better and less political way to do this” says ACT’s Hamilton West candidate Dr James McDowall.

“It shouldn’t take a by-election to ensure Hamilton gets the infrastructure it needs but Housing Minister Megan Woods today cynically announced Hamilton would receive $150.6 million of funding. It’s the best thing Gaurav Sharma’s ever done for Hamilton West, it’s just a pity Labour didn’t do things for Hamilton when he was with them.

“While Labour is giving a one off paying, ACT would give that much annually to Hamilton.

“Under ACT’s GST Sharing policy, which is also a Member’s Bill currently before Parliament from ACT Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden, Hamilton would get an annual amount of around $145 million.

“Currently, local councils face poor incentives to build. Every new development involves costs to existing ratepayers to provide new roads, water, and sewerage connections. These costs act as a disincentive for councils to approve new houses and subdivisions.

“The GST-sharing scheme is estimated to deliver $1.2 billion every year to support local development enabling infrastructure, but councils that consent more, get more.

“The only time you get prompt service from a council is when they’re issuing a parking ticket. They’ll come to you, anywhere, anytime, because there’s money in it. Imagine how many consents they’d issue if there was money in it for them?

“Instead of forcing councils to come begging for special funds from the Government, it would provide an enduring and predictable solution for infrastructure funding.

“ACT believes in better, longer-lasting solutions. Hamilton West deserves enduring solutions, not just cynical bribes when it’s politically convenient.”

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James McDowall